Thursday, September 26, 2013

Start Sewing

Straight Stitch , Craft How tos: Straight stitch
     Today's tutorial is the basic get it done simple sewing.  This will repair clothing, and give you a foundation for beginner sewing projects.  If you can get the needle threaded you can do it yourself.  The basic up and down, or, in and out straight stitch was the skill of clothing makers for centuries.  It is the only stitch needed.  All the others ( like running stitch and backstitch  are built upon that foundational skill. 

     But, starting at the most basic point, thread the needle.  I have seen needles on TV commercials for $10 a piece because the barkers claim they self thread without the strain of putting the thread through the eye of the needle.  These needles have been available for decades.  They are called self threading and are good to have.  They are available wherever needles are sold.  

     Get a needle and either push the thread through the needle or pull it down through the slot.  If you are right handed, hold a shirt or scrap piece of fabric in the left hand and holding the needle in the right, put the needle under the the fabric and point the needle up through the fabric, half way.  Put a button on the needle and pull it all the way through the fabric.  Point the needle down in a different hole than the one it came up in and push it back through the button and fabric.  Repeat this several times, and finish with a knot on the under side of the fabric.  You have now accomplished two things.  You have made a stitch and you have begun sewing a button onto a shirt!!  Cool! No point trying something new if nothing good comes of it! 

   Now that you have accomplished something, try more.  With the needle at the bottom of two layers of fabric (or the underside of a a torn seam) push up from the bottom and leaving a small space, push it down again and repeat this creating a line of stitches.  

 This is enough to create an entire line of clothing without ever learning another stitch.  You can make patch pockets and apply them to pants or shirts that don't have enough pockets, you can mend torn clothing and you can create works of art.  If you want to learn more eye pleasing stitches for hobby or art stitching, look up embroidery online.  The first stitch you will learn is the straight, of flat, stitch.  

Straight stitch/running stitch/backstitch - a photo on Flickriver

Sampler of Colonial Boston | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

     Electronic sewing machines are nice.  I have one.  I also had to buy a $22 Big Lots featherweight sewing machine so I could use it to spin bobbins for the expensive machine (when it stopped spinning) that would cost $300 to fix!  I have a serger for edging stretch fabric and I like them all, but the machine I have stored for TEOTWAWKI is a treadle sewing machine I bought at a yard sale for $15 about twelve years ago.  It came with a broken belt which I have used to measure new leather belts and it has enough binding clips to make dozens of belts from leather.  I have a friend in the auto parts industry looking for a serpentine belt to substitute.  But, what if....What if I am separated from electricity?  The three electric machines won't work and trust me you do not want to push that wheel round and round to make it go an inch, let alone, a mile!  What if I can't get to my storage and can not retrieve my treadle machine?   Well, I can always sew by hand.

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